Nostalgia Is Great

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In William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” the main character, Emily Grierson, was perceived as bizarre by the townspeople. Throughout her life, she was unwilling to adapt to the changes occurring in the community, such as paying new taxes and admitting the death of her father after keeping him in her home for three days. Furthermore, she murdered her love interest Homer, and also kept his body in her house for several years. This illustrates her severe irrationality and fear of abandonment. As she grew older, Emily began to distance herself from society, and gradually the public reciprocated. Her overbearing father controlling her life and pushing everyone away ultimately contributed to the acceleration of her mental instability and sense of control which led to Emily’s gradual isolation from society. Emily’s peculiar personality and aura, mainly her sense of control and unwavering independence that she developed from her father, frightened other civilians. When certain women asked the Baptist minister to go to Emily’s house to discuss her marriage with Homer, readers can gather he was very afraid, “He would never divulge what happened during that interview, but he refused to go back again” (Faulkner, 378). Furthermore, when she went to purchase poison from store, she was asked by the druggist to clarify its purpose, but she refused, “Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up.” (Faulkner, 377). In both instances she was asserting her independence and sense of control. She learned this from her father when he tried to control her, as she was also trying to control society. Since Emily’s sense of control was fr... ... middle of paper ... ...ople. When citizens complained about the unpleasant smell emanating from her house, they slithered in the night to eradicate it, but did not speak to her in person. They only chose to take action because it was affecting them, not because they were concerned for her. It is evident they all saw that she was growing old, “When we next saw Miss Emily, she had grown fat and her hair was turning grey” (Faulkner, 389) however they did not attempt to help her by offering to assist her. Her servant Tobe was the only person who saw Emily for all those years she had isolated herself in her home. Had Emily’s father not been so overprotective of Emily and allowed her to choose a man for herself, she would not have felt so secluded and abandoned from society. Furthermore, she would also not have been so mentally unstable and developed such an overpowering craving for control.
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